Business travelers are returning faster than the industry predicted. Global Rescue reports about 60% of business travelers had at least one multi-day domestic business trip by July 2021. And nearly one-third of those travelers also flew internationally. Still, the complete rebound of business travel is a little too far, and it will take time. At the same time, this emerging trend of Bliesure is pulling loads of employees back on the roads and in the open air again.
The mental makeup of the Millenials, the new generation, is a strong reason why Bliesure Travel is taking off. They are not taking vacations – time off from work, which is why they are burning out faster than their older peers.
Also, businesses are now gradually understanding – virtual meetings could be an alternative to face-to-face meetings, but they cannot replace them. Personal interaction is still the most effective way to build and maintain professional relationships, nurture trust, and drive your company’s growth.
That said, let’s first understand what is Bliesure and what makes it different from conventional business trips.
What is Bliesure?
Bliesure is an amalgamation of business and leisure, allowing employees to add vacation days to their business trips. It’s basically a business trip with an additional leisure component added. There are two ways to chalk out a Bliesure trip: add leisure days at the start or end of a business trip; it’s good mostly when traveling alone or in a group. Another way for Bliesure is to take friends and family on the trip, where you take time off every day to do leisure activities, and the company fully sponsors it.
The Bliesure as a concept is not new; it has been around for some time now. The significant difference is now when the travel industry is recovering from the slump of the pandemic; marketeers are fuelling this term. But it does not anyway limit the potential of Bliesure as a concept. Organizations can use bliesure to attract a good talent pool, offer it as an additional employee benefit, and it can play a significant role in employee retention.
How Can Bliesure Transform Business Travel?
Apart from the benefit that businesses and organizations can drive from bliesure, bliesure travel opens heaps of growth opportunities for the travel industry. Let’s look at three leading ways the travel industry can take advantage of the Bliesure buzz:
1. The Bliesure Messaging
Messaging is essential; you can’t sell what you can’t publicize. So, travel businesses need to create packages for Bliesure and start reaching out to the planners, which are still in the early booking process.
Alternatively, travel businesses can directly reach out to business travelers. Start the messaging process by educating travelers about the concept of bliesure. Send educational content, run ads or launch a full-fledged marketing campaign to target business travelers who might be interested in the idea of bliesure.
2. Cost-Effective On-Trip Offerings
For business travel, it’s mostly planners, in-house or third agents that make all the booking arrangements. And the agents prefer to book room blocks for sales meetings and conferences to get competitive rates.
The business travel planners and agents always try to get maximum travel benefit on corporate rates, and they are very price-conscious. So, you cannot sell them, which goes even slightly above corporate rates. But you can always sell cost-effective on-trip offerings that make your venue more appealing. And convince them how you can make the leisure part more enjoyable for their travelers.
3. Value Addition on Experience
Once you are able to convince planners and agents, they will do free marketing for you. While you need to understand the limitations of Bliesure travelers, they can only extend their trip for a few days, not weeks. So, you have very little time to make their Bliesure experience worthwhile.
Every four out of five business travelers spend about five hours figuring out – what they can do once they are over with business obligations. That’s where the opportunity lies; you can incorporate athletic activities, water sports, special meals, hiking, and biking into your package. And sync these activities with travelers’ business obligations. Supposedly, they can enjoy these activities if they have a day off during the trip. Else, they already have extra days for the leisure part of their bliesure trip. Make sure you inform the planners of every activity. As mentioned earlier, they will do free marketing for you. Because they also have to justify their choices.
The Bliesure might not be a new phenomenon. Still, it has great potential to boost the travel activity in its new avatar when so many Travel and Marketing companies are pushing it in the public eye. And it can potentially become a new norm for business travel.
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